My children have convinced me that they don’t need pocket money.
In fact, I feel like if I was to introduce the idea now it would actually be taking something away from them.
Let me explain.
Here they are, my oldest two, little bundles of excitement at the checkout purchasing something they had been saving up for. In the past month, they’ve saved up $150 together. I don’t know about you but I think that’s a lot for a 7- and 5-year-old!
After they’d paid and taken the bag containing their precious ‘Baby Born’ doll, they squealed and hugged each other tight exclaiming ‘I can’t believe we did it! We did it!’
And as I watched them I was so happy they could experience this excitement, and pride, and sense of accomplishment. And that it was all their own doing.
I’ve been asked a few times before if we give the children pocket money and the answer has always been no, but honestly it hadn’t been something we’d really thought a lot about yet. They’re still relatively young and they’d never asked. But, seeing some of the things they’ve accomplished all on their own, we’ve decided that it’s not something we’ll be introducing in the foreseeable future. The more I think about it, the more I see that kids, at least my kids, don’t need pocket money. For many reasons, it seems an unnecessary addition to their lives.
8 Reasons We Don’t Give Pocket Money
1. We share money
Firstly, we buy the kids things they need anyway. I don’t mean anything they want. They don’t have the latest toys, lollies on every shopping trip, or the 10 kittens they’re planning to buy when they’re older. But if they come to us with a genuine reason why they need something then we talk about it together and work out if it’s something we can buy. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, sometimes we have to explain that we have things we need to spend money on that are of a higher priority at this time. We try to include them in decisions as much as possible and explain our reasoning so they can start learning from a young age how we manage money. We also don’t want to have an ‘us and them’ feeling in our home, so everyone’s opinion is heard.
2. Encouraging an Entrepreneurial Mindset
When inevitably there are times they want money to buy something that is not in our family budget, they need to come up with a way to make the money themselves. The first time they did this I underestimated their capabilities! They both wanted cameras and decided to save up their money until they had enough to buy two. At 6 and 4 years old they saved for a whole year before they finally had enough to buy them! I was amazed at their persistence and dedication. They sold paintings, stories, cupcakes, and jewellery to family and friends.
As they’ve gotten a bit older, their ideas have also gotten more complicated. They’re currently working on performing a play and filming it so they can sell the DVD’s, making chemical free makeup, writing stories and a recipe book, and starting an online store of other homemade things. They are developing their creative and entrepreneurial thinking all the time. I wonder if giving them a set amount of pocket money per week would have changed this. Instead of having to be inventive all they need do to save money would be wait for time to pass.
3. Creating Opportunities for Meaningful Work
Children LIKE to do meaningful work. They want to do real things! Self-chosen work for a purpose is so valuable. I want them to have these opportunities!
4. Showing Confidence in Their Capabilities
I want my children to know that I believe in them. I know they are capable of coming up with their own ideas to earn money when they need it. I am confident that they will find a way to meet their goals. They don’t need pocket money from me to help them with that.
5. We Don’t Pay for Chores
We don’t give money for chores. That would be quite difficult because we don’t have chores anyway, ha! Everyone contributes around here in an unforced matter because that’s what being part of a family is about. They like to help us because it feels good and they see that we help them too. We don’t believe in rewards and punishments, and to me, pocket money would seem like a reward. I want them to continue to be intrinsically motivated to contribute to family life, rather than only helping because they get money for it.
6. Sense of Achievement
The sense of pride and achievement they feel when they finally save enough money to buy something they have been wanting is so beautiful to watch. I’m so proud of them and I don’t want to take the opportunity to have these experiences away from them.
7. Ownership Over Money
Any money that they earn is entirely theirs to do with what they like. I love that they are fully responsible for the whole process. From earning it, to saving it, to spending it. I want to stay right out of that and let them own it!
8. Natural Learning
We learn through experience and I think the best way for kids to learn about money is to have practice dealing with money. Sure, they could do this if I gave them pocket money too, but I feel like managing money they have earnt themselves is even more beneficial. Money that has come from their own hard work is much more valuable and meaningful to them. They care what happens to it! If they feel they have wasted it, then that’s going to have more of an impact than them wasting money that I have given them that will be replaced the next week anyway. They are learning about earning money, saving money, and spending money, and as they get older there will be even more to learn.
I am grateful now that pocket money wasn’t something we introduced before seeing all the benefits to be had without it! It is definitely not something you have to do. In fact, in my opinion, there is a stronger argument against it.
What’s your opinion? Agree or disagree? Do you have pocket money in your home?